You never know who’s watching…
Corinne’s life might look perfect on the outside, but after three failed IVF attempts it’s her last chance to have a baby. And when she finds a tiny part of a doll house outside her flat, it feels as if it’s a sign.
But as more pieces begin to turn up, Corinne realises that they are far too familiar. Someone knows about the miniature rocking horse and the little doll with its red velvet dress. Someone has been inside her house…
How does the stranger know so much about her life? How long have they been watching? And what are they waiting for…?
This is an OH. MY. GOD. jaw-dropper of a book, with a tantalisingly slow burn which turns into a pretty explosive finale.
Gushing as that may sound (because it is) I loved this book from the moment i started reading - perhaps for no other reason that when I was a little girl my most favourite toys of all - the one's I would spend hours and hours playing with - were my dolls' houses. They weren't fancy handmade ones, as in this book - one was a Caroline's Home and the other a Sindy House - but they were my most prized possessions.
So the premise of little items from these most beloved of toys showing up, rather menacingly, in a grown woman's life had me sold from the start. But there is so much more to this book - as it follows the lives of sisters Corinne (she who receives the dolls house pieces) and her older sister Ashley - in the run up to the first anniversary of their father's death.
There is domestic stress, fertility issues, financial worries - and that's not to mention the very raw grief the girls are experiencing - it would be enough to drive anyone mad. Which is exactly what Corinne's nearest and dearest (her beloved boyfriend Dominic) fears is happening to his fragile girlfriend. But of course it is more complicated than that - someone is playing a game behind the scenes - meticulously watching the sisters (as she has done for years) and biding her time until she can reveal the secrets of her own and claim what is rightfully hers. With a lot of psych thrillers it's a difficult balance reviewing a book and it's strengths without revealing some of the twists and turns. What I can say is that is that this book doesn't just twist and turn - it leads the reader to a point where they simply don't know who to trust in the book - and even to question whether or not, perhaps. Corinne is reacting to too much stress in her life as she undergoes her fourth round of IVF in the hope of conceiving a much wanted baby.
But more than that twists and turns - this book is beautifully written - it creates such a sense of place, such a claustrophobic feeling in its pages that I found I had to keep reading and reading and do nothing else until I found out exactly what was going on.
When I turned the last page, I wanted more - while acknowledging the book finishes in the most perfect way. This is one for book club discussions and I have no hesitation at all in recommending it as one of the strongest thrillers I have read this year. It is simply brilliant.
The Doll House is published by HQ Digital.
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.